Jessi Klein is a funny lady. From her Emmy award-winning work on Inside Amy Schumer (she’s one of the scribes responsible for the hysterial 12 Angry Men skit) to her New York Times’ bestseller-list book, You’ll Grow Out of It, she’s a seasoned comedian with a killer resume. And now she can add a fashion gig to her CV. She wrote and stars in two campaign videos for Loft that launch today, and we chatted (and laughed) with her to learn more about the creation of the videos, her style inspo and why she wishes she could dress like her one-year-old son.
How did the partnership with Loft come about? I was fielding a lot of offers to model. I’m just kidding. They came to me with what seemed like this is very easy-going, fun structure that would allow me to hire my friends and make some videos that actually could be funny with minimal to no marketing involved, and that seemed like a really fun idea. So I pitched a few ideas we were able to make them in about a day.
How did you come up with the concept for the videos? Like with the comedy I write, my stand-up material and the book I wrote, I like to just write things that are honest and find humour in being vulnerable and real about what’s actually going on, which can either be seen as very brave or very lazy. So I grabbed from what was genuinely happening, which was I had a baby last year and I definitely am not the size I was before. I genuinely had to throw away most of what was in my closet, most of which deserved to be thrown away, and I was also about to go on a book tour so I needed stuff to go and stand in front of people and read. So I was like, ‘Why don’t we talk about this?’ And I think it ended up being a good fit.
Are you still trying to make ‘Burrito’ happen? Now that the videos are out, I’m pretty sure Twitter will crash with the level of #burrito that is out there.
What would be your perfect Loft outfit for a stand-up gig? We had a very fun sitting day, and I think part of what appeals to me about working with Loft is that a lot of their clothes are very similar to what I’ve always liked and the things I’ve worn on stage, which is cute dresses that aren’t taking themselves too seriously, or a cute top and jeans. Nothing that feels like it’s restricting movement. It’s not like when you’re on stage you really want to be in a gown, so it’s about things that are casual but cute. That’s about as fancy as I usually go.
What has been your biggest fashion miss? I got invited to a very fancy Harper’s Bazaar fashion party and I bought a very complicated top from a department store that I thought was really badass. And then after wearing it, I realized I had it on backwards the entire night, so that was not great. Also, probably my entire life, anytime I’ve needed to go to something that’s at all formal, I think I’ve really under-dressed. I very rarely nail it.
Who is your style inspo? Meryl Streep and Frances McDormand, because they always look like they went to the store and bought something and thought, ‘I’m a badass and it doesn’t really matter what I wear.’ I like to see people who look like they’re dressing themselves, are having fun and aren’t overly serious. I don’t like when they look like they have 15 stylists working on every single thing they have on their body.
What is something you used to wear when you were a kid that you wish you’d never grown out of? I did own a full body New York Mets uniform that I would occasionally wear. My baby is 15 months old now, and I have to say, there are lots of things that are made for babies that I desperately wish were available in my size. Like I want to wear a onesie, or he has a pair of pants with sheep all over them. I would wear pants with sheep all over them. I gotta talk to Loft and maybe our next collaboration is me designing pants with sheep. Or pants that are green and covered in cars. Very free-spirited, bohemian babywear.
In your book, you describe an experience at Victoria’s Secret and how surprised you were to find out that men don’t necessarily care about sexy underwear. Can you explain? Lingerie companies’ bread and butter is the message that, unless you are wearing a matching bedazzled bra and thong that also comes with a negligee top, no guy will want you. And I think guys are really just very into any sex with anybody, and are like, let’s get to naked ASAP. Given how little men ever seem to care, it’s a real credit to the marketing machine of underwear companies.
What is one thing you would never wear? There are many things. While I actually think they can look very cool on other people, harem pants with the low crotch at your knees is not for me.